Discovering "Semantics" in Super-Resolution Networks

Yihao Liu, Anran Liu, Jinjin Gu, Zhipeng Zhang, Wenhao Wu, Yu Qiao, Chao Dong

Super-resolution (SR) is a fundamental and representative task of low-level vision area. It is generally thought that the features extracted from the SR network have no specific semantic information, and the network simply learns complex non-linear mappings from input to output. Can we find any “semantics” in SR networks? In this paper, we give affirmative answers to this question. By analyzing the feature representations with dimensionality reduction and visualization, we successfully discover the deep semantic representations in SR networks, \textit{i.e.}, deep degradation representations (DDR), which relate to the image degradation types and degrees. We also reveal the differences in representation semantics between classification and SR networks. Through extensive experiments and analysis, we draw a series of observations and conclusions, which are of great significance for future work, such as interpreting the intrinsic mechanisms of low-level CNN networks and developing new evaluation approaches for blind SR.